FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fayetteville City Council voted to approve allocating $686,500 toward an expansion of the Peace at Home Family Shelter.

The November 15 vote approved using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to pay for a two-part construction project for the shelter that helps survivors of domestic violence and their families. It was a unanimous 8-0 vote.

According to text from legislation presented to the city, the expansion will include three additional shelter bedrooms with bathrooms, which will allow Peace at Home to provide emergency shelter to an additional 60 adults and children fleeing domestic violence each year. The council vote authorizes Mayor Lioneld Jordan to sign an agreement providing the funding and approves a budget adjustment.

The project will renovate an existing part of the current shelter and build an addition to replace current storage space. The shelter currently has a capacity for up to 14 families, totaling 40-55 people. This project increases the capacity to 17 households and the shelter says that this will allow them to accommodate approximately 60 additional individuals, providing them with emergency access.

“This project will further Peace at Home Family Shelter’s philosophy and purpose by increasing our capacity to provide client-centered safe shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence and their children in our community.”

Peace at Home Family Shelter grant application

Peace at Home reported that they have received over 1,200 calls from people seeking support in 2022, an increase of 67% over the last five years and 24% compared to pre-pandemic 2019 statistics. The shelter noted that it operates with a waiting list due to insufficient capacity and high community need.

The project has scheduled the following timeline:

  • 0-3 months: Finalize design details with architects, receive bids from construction contractors and select a contractor for the project
  • 3-9 months: Complete construction and renovation of the shelter space
  • 9-12 months (if not completed sooner): Ensure all construction is completed. Acquire and install all necessary furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Complete inspection. Open rooms up to survivors of domestic violence seeking safe shelter

The shelter requested an additional $25,000 in ARPA funding to support emergency shelter operations.

The grant application notes that the project “is in alignment with the City of Fayetteville’s Master Plan goals #1 and #6 as it involves the rehabilitation of an existing building and increasing access to housing.”